COVID19: Cyprus beefs up economic relief to €1.5 bln

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Cyprus’ Finance Ministry is finalising a revised economic support package which will amount to at least €1.5 bln, approximately 7% of GDP, to buffer businesses against Covid-19, reliable sources told CNA.

Last week Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides announced a financial support package amounting to €700 mln equivalent to 3% of Cyprus’ GDP.

However, Petrides following a meeting with parliamentary parties, announced the government will approve additional measures, including the provision of government guarantees.

According to a Finance Ministry source, Petrides will continue contacts on Monday and Tuesday with Central Bank Governor, Constantinos Herodotou, political leaders and with CEOs of commercial banks.

Petrides meets Herodotou on Monday to discuss the issue of granting government guarantees to borrowers affected by the coronavirus epidemic.

The aim is to complete the revised economic package Tuesday at the latest in a bid to submit bills to the cabinet for approval.

“The package will amount to at least €1.5 billion,” a high-ranking official told CNA.

The official said the package will include direct support, deferred government income in the form of payment suspension of direct and indirect taxes and other fees, as well as government guarantees which will not incur fiscal impact unless they materialise.